June 9, 2011
Just a day after announcing its new iCloud service, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs pitched a plan to build possibly the best office building in the world.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Jobs pitched his idea to a Cupertino, CA city council on Tuesday for a new Apple corporate campus on land that used to belong to Hewlett-Packard. Many former Apple employees said the company has been in need of a new campus for quite some time now. During his pitch at the council, Jobs pointed out that Apple outgrew its headquarters on Infinite Loop Drive years ago and have been renting buildings nearby to keep up with the company's growth.
"Apple is growing like a weed," said Jobs as quoted by CNET News. "It's clear we need to build a new campus."
According to The Wall Street Journal, many Apple employees agreed, saying that renting multiple buildings and having a separated campus has had an impact on the company's culture. One example is how the current cafeteria is always crowded, which forces employees who do not work in the main office to go somewhere else for lunch. As a result, there is less interaction between different divisions and less opportunities for spontaneous conversations. These lunchtime interactions have often led to some of Apple's most inspired ideas.
CNET News reported that Apple currently has 12,000 employees; however, the main campus only holds about 2,800. The new campus will be big enough to house everyone in one building, but it will not replace the current campus.
According to PC World, Apple bought the land from Hewlett-Packard, which has significance to Jobs as HP founders Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett offered him a summer job in 1969.
The new office will have a futuristic design, which Jobs described as "a little like a spaceship", reported The Wall Street Journal. The round four-story building will have a large courtyard in the center and will hide most of the parking underground. Jobs will add four times more landscaping than the current office and has hired an arborist from Stanford to add indigenous trees, such as apricot orchards. Additionally, there will be a cafe that accommodates 3,000 people, an auditorium, fitness center and R&D buildings.
The new campus's primary source of energy will come from an on-site energy center. The company will reply on the grid for backup power. As a result, CNET News noted that the building's footprint would decrease by 30 percent.
"We have a shot at building the best office building in the world," said Jobs as quoted by The Wall Street Journal. "Architecture students will come here to see this."
The council seemed to embrace the proposal. Apple hopes to open the new space in 2015.
Compiled by Heidi M. Agustin
"Apple Plans New 'spaceship'-like Campus," pcworld.com, June 8, 2011, Agam Shah
"Jobs stumps for new 'spaceship'-like Apple campus," news.cnet.com, June 7, 2011, Steven Musil
"Steve Jobs's Latest Project: iSpaceship," blogs.wsj.com, June 8, 2011, Yukari Iwatani Kane